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Vancouver Washington Social Security Disability Law Blog

What are the maximum monthly Social Security disability benefit?

When a person is unable to work because of a disability, that person can have a difficult time meeting all their day-to-day needs. Having a disability obviously does not preclude the person from having expenses for necessities like food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Without Social Security disability benefits some of these people would be left with no way to care for themselves following a disabling accident, injury or illness.

By obtaining SSDI benefits, disabled individuals are able to obtain some financial freedom again. These benefits accrue over a person's working life so that they are available in a person's hour of need. With these benefits, disabled individuals can secure many of their basic needs. Disabled individuals who are relying on the program may wonder what the maximum disability benefit is under the SSDI program.

SSD program poised for political battle over funding

Congress often picks and chooses its legal battles when coming into election years. This often includes overhauling federal programs. As the eyes of the nation focus on Congress' progress, the changes that Congress focuses on can make a big difference to the people who use the programs. It can often be difficult for people to wait and see if Congress will change the program and if that change will affect their benefits.

This year is no different. According to recent reports, the House of Representatives seems to be focusing on the Social Security Disability Insurance program. According to some reports, by the end of 2016, the program could be completely out of money unless changes are adopted. In the past, Congress has often shifted money from other parts of the Social Security program -- from retirement benefits, for example -- to pay for the shortcomings of the SSDI program.

Eligibility for Washington Supplemental Security Income

When residents in Washington struggle with a disability, whether temporary or permanent, they often wonder what rights are afforded to them in this situation. In some cases, individuals are unable to work and support themselves. In these matters, Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, could help the individual with their finances and necessities.

When individuals seek to receive SSI, they should first understand whether they are eligible for these benefits. According to the Social Security Administration, anyone who is aged 65 or older, is blind or disabled and they have limited income, limited resources and is a U.S. citizen or national or in one of certain categories of aliens is eligible for SSI.

A traumatic brain injury can lead to disability in many ways

Often when Vancouver residents think of physical injuries, they think of broken bones, perhaps lost limbs or other outwardly visible damage. These are, of course, serious conditions and many individuals need extensive treatment and therapy in order to try to resume normal activity. Social Security Disability is one system of support for people who are unable to support themselves due to these types of injuries.

There is, however, another type of injury that may not be immediately apparent to the outside world but which can nevertheless severely impair a victim's ability to work and live independently. We are talking about traumatic brain injuries. TBI usually results from a forceful blow to the head or from something penetrating the victim's skull (e.g., a bullet). Some common events that lead to TBI include car accidents, falls, accidents while playing sports, explosions and violent attacks.

Social Security benefits and mental illnesses

Receiving Social Security benefits is often critical for some residents in Washington. In some cases, Social Security benefits can help an individual temporarily or even long term. Whether an individual or loved one suffers from an illness or a disability, they should understand whether they qualify of Social Security Disability and how navigate the process to receive it. This is especially true if an individual or a loved one suffers a serious mental illness that is causing them to struggle financially.

There are several mental illnesses that could result in an individual being unable to work. In these matters, individuals often turn to Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI program for financial assistance. In fact, ore than 1.3 million people who receive SSD benefits are diagnosed with a mood disorder, and mental illness is the second most common diagnostic category for beneficiaries. When seeking assistance though this program, it is important to understand the process, develop a plan and have a good support network to help avoid any unnecessary stressed.

Social Security Disability benefits and 2014 tax returns

As 2014 draws to a close, Vancouver residents are beginning to think about their tax returns, which will need to be filed by April 15. This date always seems to sneak up on a number of us. Those who began receiving Social Security Disability benefits this last year will be facing their first tax season in which their benefits may need to be taken into consideration.

Just who will need to pay taxes on their disability benefits? Typically, only Vancouver residents who earn a significant amount of money from other sources -- wages, for example, other self-employment income, interest on investments and similar sources -- will find that their benefits are taxable. And in any case, no more than 85 percent of anyone's Social Security Disability benefits are taxable.

Cuts to Social Security disability may come as early as 2016

The recent budget battle in Congress highlighted a number of important issues with which our country struggles. Besides health care, immigration and other hot-button topics, however, another important point raised during the debate should be noted for readers of our Vancouver Washington Social Security disability law blog.

The point concerns the solvency ofthe Social Security disability trust fund. This fund, which supports millions of disabled individuals along with their children and spouses, has just about two years left before it starts to run out of money. That means that by this time in 2016, recipients of disability benefits could be subject to a cut of up to 20 percent to their benefits.

Children with disabilities may be eligible for SSI

Vancouver parents with disabled children know how difficult it can be to make ends meet. When a child has a serious disability, bills for hospital and doctor visits, rehabilitation and special education programs can quickly add up. Health insurance may not cover all of these expenses. For low-income parents, these expenses can be overwhelming.

The Social Security Administration pays Supplemental Security Income for disabled children who qualify. To be eligible, the disability must meet certain criteria. It must be expected to last more than a year or to lead to the child's death. The disability can be physical, mental or a combination of both. The disability must severely limit the child's ability to function. The child will not be eligible for SSI if they are working and earning more than a certain amount; for 2014 that amount is $1,070 per month.

Social Security Disability benefits widely misunderstood

In recent years many financial advisers have become skilled at factoring social security retirement benefits into their clients' retirement plans. But not many advisors really understand Social Security Disability benefits, according to a recent news article.

Unlike Social Security retirement benefits, which are payable automatically based on age, Social Security Disability benefits require approval on a case-by-case basis. The Social Security Administration has a very strict standard for defining a qualifying disability. To be eligible for SSDI, the applicant must have an impairment which not only prevents them from working at their previous job, but at any job for which they would otherwise qualify in the national employment market. The impairment must be expected to last at least a year, or to result in the applicant's death. Even after a person is approved for SSDI, Social Security requires periodic reviews to make sure they are still eligible.

Many are thankful for their SSDI benefits

With Thanksgiving Day this week, most Americans will gather with their families or friends to share a traditional dinner and enjoy each other company. And we know many of our current and former clients will offer thanks during their meal for their Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits.

While the application process is difficult and sometimes unpleasant, when that first benefit payment arrives, they recognize how fortunate they are to have obtained the SSDI benefits. They also know how important those payments are in their daily lives, allowing them afford rent, clothing, food, gasoline or helping them cover their other necessary expenses.

Tucker & Boklage, Attorneys at Law

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